COVID-19 lockdowns gave many a time to reinvent and rediscover themselves. Many started new careers whereas others took the time to try long lost hobbies. Hollywood stars are no different. The famous singer-actress Selena Gomez turns chef in a new series “Selena + Chef”.
The 10-episode series will debut on August 13 on the new HBO Max streaming device. All the episodes were shot in the kitchen of Gomez’s new Los Angeles-area house. Her grandparents and two friends, who have been quarantining with her, serve as taste testers.
Gomez said in a video conference, “I really thought this would be something lighthearted because I was getting definitely down. Of course, there are more important things going on but this was an opportunity to make something that could make people smile.”
She was not alone in this venture. Renowned chefs Nyesha Arrington, Roy Choi, Tonya Holland, Daniel Holzman, Jon & Vinny, Candice Kumai, Ludo Lefebvre, Antonia Lofaso, Nancy Silverton, and Angelo Sos guided her remotely from their houses.
Gomez was coached through making such dishes as Korean breakfast tacos, matcha chocolate chip cookies, spicy miso ramen, seafood tostada, and cheese souffle.
Gomez shared her passion for cooking. “I hope you’re going to laugh because I look like a fool,” she said. “I love cooking, I just don’t know how to do it all the time.”
Unlike usual, all the episodes were shot as naturally as possible. There was no one off-camera perfectly prepping the ingredients. Selena Gomez didn’t glam up her clothing or makeup during the entire shoot.
Viewers can expect a fun and candid cooking series as many mistakes and funny moments were caught on camera. Remote cameras set up in her kitchen captured Gomez’s mishaps that include flames in the oven and squirting juices.
Each episode highlights a food-related charity and invites viewers to follow along at home with lists of ingredients and tools needed. “You don’t have to be a great cook to enjoy this show,” co-executive producer Aaron Saidman said.
Gomez also talked about the importance of mental health during the corona crisis. “It’s not easy for anyone to be walking through what we’re walking through. It’s affecting people, specifically with mental health,” Gomez said.
“It’s just confusing. It was hard but I tried to find what I needed to get me through it. I have great friends, I see a therapist. Just try to keep my mind positive. I’ve learned more about my country than I ever have from school or anything,” she added.